Open your heart and home to a canine (or two) in need.
As a dog lover, you probably know you have several different options for how to bring a new dog into your life. You can buy the dog from a breeder or other source, or you can adopt a dog. If you plan to buy a purebred dog, a responsible breeder is your best bet. However, before you go this route, consider adopting a dog. Here are several reasons why you should.
Dogs are Dying. The sad truth is that 1.2 million dogs are euthanized in American shelters every year, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. By adoption a dog from a shelter or private rescue, you are saving a life.
Purebreds Need Homes. If you have your heart set on a particular breed of dog, you don’t necessarily have to purchase one from a breeder.
Lots of Gratitude. Owners of adopted dogs tend to agree: when you give a home to a dog that was abandoned or neglected, you will be rewarded many times over with love and gratitude. Adopted dogs seem to know that they were rescued, and they never forget it.
If you want to open your heart and home to a dog in need, listed below are places you can look.
Local Shelter. Many cities and counties operate animal shelters to take in unwanted and abandoned pets. These facilities are often crowded, and resources are limited. In many of these shelters, dogs are placed up for adoption for only a limited time before being euthanized. Adopting a dog from a local shelter can literally save the dog’s life.
Private Rescues. Many private rescues are in operation around the country. Some of these rescues operate out of facilities maintained by donations, while most use a foster-home system to house dogs waiting for permanent homes. Dogs under the care of these rescues are often taken from local shelters where they would be euthanized, or surrendered by owners. By adopting a dog from a private rescue, you open up space at the rescue for another dog in need.
Purebred Rescues. Just about every breed of dog is represented by a rescue organization, often sponsored by the breed’s national club. These rescues use a foster home system to house dogs in need, and specialize in finding homes just for that breed. Most of the dogs available through breed rescues are young adults or seniors, although puppies are occasionally up for adoption. Dogs in purebred rescues are often taken from local shelters or are surrendered by their owners.
You can find adoptable dogs of every breed, age, size and shape by exploring the Petfinder.com website, where local shelters, private rescues and purebred rescues all list dogs in need of homes.
About the Author: Audrey Pavia is an award-winning freelance writer and author of “The Labrador Retriever Handbook.” She is a former staff editor of Dog Fancy, Dog World and The AKC Gazette magazines. To learn more about her work, visit www.audreypavia.com and hollywoodhoofbeats.net.